I’d Like Autumn Back, Please. Pretty Please.

11.16.2009 | 12:33 pm

I should learn to ski. Or snowboard. Or backcountry ski, which is somehow different than regular skiing — mainly because you pay more for equipment, don’t ride a chairlift, and are 98% more likely to die (the other two percent is for the people who die when doing regular skiing).

Or I could start cross-country skiing, which has all the effort of backcountry skiing without any of the fun.

I’ve got to start doing one of those things, because then I could be one of the people who, when it starts getting cold, gets all cheerful and says things like, “Bring it on! When you’re in Utah, Winter’s the best season if you’re a [insert snow-based activity here]!”

Seriously, someone said that to me as I was mountain biking on Corner Canyon Friday afternoon, just as it was starting to snow.

He even said the square bracketed part, including saying “open square bracket” and “close square bracket,” which I thought peculiar and perhaps even unnecessary.

Anyway, I need to be one of those people who says that kind of thing, instead of the kind of person who gets that kind of thing said to.

Because, as it turns out, I do not like riding my bike outside in the bitter cold and dark.

I verified this yesterday afternoon.

My Math Skills Are Suspect

Yesterday was cold. Probably not the coldest it will be all year, but cold enough that anytime I went out during the day, I suddenly would discover an utterly compelling reason for not being outside after all. Here are some of those reasons:

  • I do not really need to take out the trash, because if I put the trash here by the door, one of my kids will probably eventually take the trash out themselves, at which point they will have learned a valuable lesson in responsibility and taking initiative.
  • I do not actually need to go buy groceries after all, because there is still rice in the pantry. And there’s also a box of Nilla Wafers. Sure, the Nilla wafers are a couple years pass their expiration date and have a rather sharpish smell for Nilla Wafers, but I’m sure they’re fine.
  • I do not think the fire in my kitchen is very serious, and most grease fires — even the ones that are eight-feet high, like the one in my kitchen — usually burn themselves out in a moment or two.

By 3:45 in the afternoon, though, my cabin fever had reached parity with my cold avoidance. So I texted Dug — I now text everyone, instead of talking with them in person on the phone, because it’s much slower and less personal — asking him if he was at home. If so, I’d bring over the first season of 24 he wanted to borrow.

Dug allowed that he was at home, and that it was a good time to come over.

So I suited up. Base layer. Windfront tights. Gloves. Full-sleeve jersey. And then I rode the approximately eight miles to Dug’s house. Started about 4:15.

Since Dug lives in Suncrest and I live in Alpine, the trip to Dug’s house is all uphill for me, and I warmed up quickly. I was enjoying myself, but my enjoyment was tempered by the following observations:

  • The snow on the side of the road had been melting, but it was cold enough that I had high confidence in the likelihood of an imminent freeze. Luckily, the tires of my road bike are rock hard, less than half an inch wide, and have no tread whatsoever. So ice on the road on the return trip shouldn’t be a problem.
  • The sun was going down. Rather faster than usual, it seemed to me. As if it had conceded defeat on its mission of warming anything up that day and was anxious to just get the whole secondary mission of keeping the outside light over with for the day. And truth be known, I have still not gotten used to this “dark by 5:15pm” thing. And hadn’t exactly taken it into account when I started my ride.
  • It was cold outside. I believe I have made this point before, but some points are worth emphasizing through reiteration. This is one of those points.

As I got closer, I formulated a new plan for how I would get home. It went a little like this: Instead of riding home, I would bum a ride off Dug. After all, I’d have just given him 24 installments of indoor cycling entertainment, along with a brand new jersey. He’d be in a generous mood.

Plans Revised

I knocked on Dug’s door. Then rang the doorbell. Then did both at once, using the door as a percussive counterpoint to the melody I was tapping out on the doorbell.

And yet, nobody came to the door. As I would later find out, Dug and his family all hate me and want me to die, and therefore hid in the basement until I left.

It’s also possible they were watching a movie downstairs and didn’t hear the doorbell / knock. Possible, I say, but pretty darned unlikely.

So. Evidently I needed to ride my bike home after all.

In the summertime, this would be the best part. Eight miles of downhill. Last night, however, it was decidedly not the best part. Because it was dark. And cold. And the wet road was starting to put the “ice” in “dicey.” (I just made that little wordplay up; feel free to use it in your own conversations, as long as you give me proper credit.)

I started the ride down.

By the time I got about a third of the way down Suncrest, my fingers hurt. By the time I got halfway down, my eyes had stopped working properly. By the time I was two thirds of the way down, I had started moaning. And by three quarters of the way home, my reaction time had slowed, my face was so brittle with cold that a light tap with a ball peen hammer would surely have shattered it.

Yes, really.

I was so muddled from the cold — and sure, the dark might’ve had something to do with it — that I was no longer sure of where I was. Certainly I must have gotten lost, I thought, because this was taking way too long.

Home Again

But — as streetlights started coming on — I got home. I left my shoes on as I went in the house, because I knew there was absolutely no way I’d be able to get those shoes off with my fingers like this.

So I sat on the floor. And discovered — not for the first time — that the only thing worse than having your fingers numb with cold is when they have warmed up just enough to get feeling back.

Which, I think, is a superb explanation for why, five minutes after I got home, I was rolling around on the floor, weeping in pain.

And as I rolled, I found myself thinking one thing, very very clearly: “I will never ever ever do the Ititarod. Ever. No matter what.”

Eventually, the pain subsided, and a seven-hour-long hot shower (I have an enormous hot water heater) left me feeling just fine.

But I think I may need to buy some warmer gloves before I go riding again. Or better yet, I’d like the weather I had last week — the weather that had me riding in shorts and short sleeves — back.

Because I don’t think backcountry skiing is on the menu this year.


  1. Comment by dug | 11.16.2009 | 12:40 pm

    um. sorry? once a month kim and i force the kids to watch one of our favorite movies. yesterday it was butch cassidy and the sundance kid. they protested loudly, but once the movie started, they were enthralled. in a good way. so enthralled that maddy was very sad at the end. the way end, i mean.

    in backcountry skiing, by the way, the down is even better when it’s cold. sort of the opposite of your experience.

    i have a spare setup. you WILL come with me this year. if only so that you can be someone who says “bring it on” and not someone people say that to.

  2. Comment by dug | 11.16.2009 | 12:42 pm

    also, why didn’t you just text me from my front porch? that’s the latest thing.

  3. Comment by chtrich | 11.16.2009 | 12:45 pm

    I hate coming down Suncrest in the cold. Y-U-C-K!

  4. Comment by GenghisKhan | 11.16.2009 | 12:50 pm

    Sorry ’bout the finger-thaw-pain. I had a similar experience coming down the Alpine Loop late season a few years back. I had to take a few minutes with my hands dow–well, in a warm place–on the side of the road at the end of the descent to finish the ride home.

    But yeah, find something fun to do in the snow–how hard could be, seeing as you’ve taken up triathathathalons? ;o)

    Peace and Happy Trails!

  5. Comment by Coworker Alex | 11.16.2009 | 1:04 pm

    Yup. It *was* cold. Did a 2.5 hour road ride around the valley yesterday afternoon. Never took off a single layer, was cold the whole ride. I swear I’m still cold.

    FWIW- Back-country skiing really is a lot warmer than winter road-biking.

  6. Comment by AngieG | 11.16.2009 | 1:10 pm

    FC- I was expecting to see a proto-type of the heated cycling contraption one of your daughters designed for you. That seems the perfect solution.

    I rode on Sunday and even though I live in Northern California it was very chilly too. I’m sure not as cold as Utah, but still cold for me. My feet were numb the entire ride. YIKES!!

    I think we are stuck with the cold for a few months. Just think of how amazing that first spring ride is going to feel. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

  7. Comment by thom p. | 11.16.2009 | 1:15 pm

    I’ve never understood why the human body is designed in a way which causes us to be subjected to excruciating pain while we are de-thawing. It should be a joyous experience, why…why pain? Idiotic design.

    Could have been worse. A couple years back I did a ‘Cross race in sub-20° temperatures. Of course I was wearing arm warmers, leg warmers, a wool cap, wool socks, gloves, all that. What I wasn’t wearing was anything besides normal lycra bibs. A certain part of my anatomy suffered the brunt of the abuse. But I ask you: in what other context would it be perfectly “normal” for a man to squat down, holding his crotch and moaning like Harvey Keitel in “The Bad Lieutenant?”

  8. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 11.16.2009 | 1:19 pm

    Last winter I couldn’t stand trainer rides anymore so I went out for a ride on a cold day. After your water bottles freeze I believe it’s time to go back inside for more riding. I learned I’m no Jill Homer that day. You should really take up snowboarding. If you can survive that first day you’re in for a treat.

  9. Comment by Rantwick | 11.16.2009 | 1:21 pm

    A simple change in mindset and gear can make riding all winter totally doable and as fun as many other winter sports.

    I do not, it should be noted, live anywhere near a mountain.

  10. Comment by sarah | 11.16.2009 | 1:21 pm

    oh man, thom p., after a good race this weekend i’ve been thinking about how much i like the northern california cyclocross scene…thanks for giving me another reason to appreciate it.

  11. Comment by Hambone | 11.16.2009 | 1:32 pm

    I had the same experience yesterday as well. I forgot
    that the sun goes down so early and was stuck without any lights on my bike. It was also the first time I’ve ever thought that I could really have frostbite on my toes. Anyone have suggestions for keeping the toes warm? I had wool socks and fleece lined shoe covers but it didn’t seem to matter. You’d think that the army would issue me some warmer feet but they don’t.

  12. Comment by Road Divit | 11.16.2009 | 1:32 pm

    When you’ve been living in S Fla all your life, a cold front is cold. Training in a warm drizzle one day pulling my bro in-law the extra miles needed for the MS ride, we were caught in a cold front. I have come to the conclusion that when a weather guy has to work on the weekend, they lie about the weather. This cold front wasn’t due for 6 more hours. Wet, cold and 30 miles from home my bro in-law made the call to get picked up as I left him at the park and froze my tail home. He did the right thing for him, I did the right thing for me. I emailed the weather guy an hour after my shower.

  13. Comment by Steve Courtright | 11.16.2009 | 1:34 pm

    Just a comment about your cold face syndrome.

    In these parts, (Illinois) we call cold face syndrome “slow nose,” because it is diagnosed by wrinkling up your nose and then counting the minutes it takes to slide, like frozen maple syrup, back into a normal position in proximity to your upper lip. When you realize you have no idea where it is on your face and not obviously in home position, it’s time to turn back.

  14. Comment by GJ Jackie | 11.16.2009 | 1:35 pm

    BRRRRRRR. I hate being cold on a bike. My husband and I have a contract during the winter – we only ride UPHILL. The non-rider gets in the car with the kids and picks up the rider, so we never have to go DOWN hill. Lucky for us have an hour or two of climbing out our front door.

  15. Comment by Banger | 11.16.2009 | 1:45 pm

    I am confused. Why hasn’t someone sent you a Pugsley yet?

  16. Comment by Kyle | 11.16.2009 | 1:45 pm

    I hear you. I was riding in Grand Junction the same weekend you were and thinking how lucky I was since I had 3-1/2 feet of snow at the house 2 weeks ago. It was perfect riding weather. My tolerance for cold and dealing with Front Range Colorado ski traffic is waning so the winters are getting longer. I’ve decided that I’m going to watch the weather like surfers watch the swell reports and make road trips to GJ/Fruita/Moab this winter when they get those nice days. BTW, got a secret trail in GJ shown to me by a local. It’s an amazing trail and probably won’t be secret for long.

  17. Comment by Kevin Spacey | 11.16.2009 | 1:47 pm

    It’s 73 degrees and sunny in VA today. Yesterday was similar. Unfortunately it wasn’t very fun for late-afternoon ‘cross racing. Glad I got mine over with in the morning.

  18. Comment by GJ Jackie | 11.16.2009 | 1:56 pm

    Did you see Lance’s Movember photo? http://twitpic.com/pra9c

  19. Comment by FNEditor | 11.16.2009 | 2:09 pm

    I’m going to try snowshoeing this year. Great exercise, beautiful scenery and you keep really warm. Plus its way cheaper than boarding or skiing.

  20. Comment by Di | 11.16.2009 | 2:52 pm

    well Fatty, here on the TX coast, I am finally enjoying our “winter weather” of 70-75 degrees by mid afternoon. Only problem I have is that the wind off the bay is ridiculous… way worse than the canyon winds I had in Montana. Go for the snow sports, you may find you actually like them :)

  21. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 11.16.2009 | 2:56 pm

    You call that cold?

    Come to Minnesota in about 2 months.

    /I have hockey later tonight…w00t.

  22. Comment by bikemike | 11.16.2009 | 2:57 pm

    while riding on ice it’s best to only run about 35 p.s.i. in bottom half of the tire, as long as the top half of the tire doesn’t roll over and touch the ice, you should have much better traction.

    i also wear my winter gloves inside out so that the fleece lining actually warms the air before it reaches my hands.

    you’re welcome.

  23. Comment by Spiff | 11.16.2009 | 2:57 pm

    Moose Mitts – look ‘em up or ask Jill about them. They’re great for winter riding.

    I need a better paying job before I can take up another expensive hobby like skiing or snowboarding. Unfortunately, it seems like all the better paying jobs leave less time for expensive hobbies. *sigh*

  24. Comment by DC | 11.16.2009 | 3:07 pm

    You should try snowmobiling. It might not seem like a lot of exercise but, If you bury one in four feet of snow as often as I do and have to dig it out by hand because well, a shovel is for people that don’t know how to ride. You’ll get exercise!

    On the downside no one has ever made good looking snowmobile clothes.

  25. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 11.16.2009 | 3:08 pm

    I was going to say to get a Pugsley, too. Or maybe get Jeff Jones to send one of his bikes to try. Though, that doesn’t help with the cold! Oh, Epic Eric (Parsons) makes great stuff. I think Jill uses his pogies.

  26. Comment by mikE | 11.16.2009 | 3:12 pm

    PUGSLEY! Ride around in the snow with a 40lb bike and 6psi in your tires and you’ll be in wicked shape come spring. Beats the heck out of rollers and a blank wall.

    The down side, lots of attention from anyone who sees it, but you’re a big time celebrity and should be pretty used to the attention by now…


  27. Comment by DC | 11.16.2009 | 3:15 pm

    On a serious note
    I’m going to ride at lunch this winter. Do they make
    long “Bike shorts”?
    Go with Under Armor?
    How’s that whole cover up the leg’s work?


    My top- is all set-Got the snowmobile jacket!

  28. Comment by Lizzylou | 11.16.2009 | 3:36 pm

    Bar mitts

  29. Comment by dlflemingos | 11.16.2009 | 3:50 pm

    That thing that heats your water is actually just a plain water heater. If you insist, “Cold” water heater is more appropriate than “Hot” water heater.

    Oh, I hate the cold too. Cold is anything less than 50 and sometimes even 50 is too cold. If I ride in the cold, I usually thaw out in the shower till I empty the 50gal water heater tank. Then I put one layers of clothes, turn the furnace up and get a blanket.

  30. Comment by Charlie | 11.16.2009 | 4:04 pm


    You, your kids, learning to ski – all of a sudden you’ll be wishing for “bad” weather instead of good! Might as well enjoy Utah powder – not much better in the world!

    Studded tires for the mtn bike as well! Heavy and slow as can be, reduces the wind chill and helps keep the rubber side down.

    I spent yesterday cross training with the snow shovel and watching a movie from the trainer…

  31. Comment by JamesInPhoenix | 11.16.2009 | 4:14 pm

    But your mo kept your upper lip all cozy and warm right?
    You need to do like the thousands of Coup De’Ville, Buick or Oldsmobile owners, who migrate from northern regions down here to the valley of sun(burn) every year in early November. Although I think a large American sedan is required for that…
    Or do like us foolish Phoenicians and stay here and sweat it out all summer…

  32. Comment by Will | 11.16.2009 | 4:24 pm

    Wait for it…
    wait for it…
    wait for it…
    …aaaand NOW I am happy to be in the South (Nashville) and am no longer jealous of those of you who reside in the mountains.

    Its a solid 65 here. And is supposed to be above 55 for at least the next few days.

    Enjoy the winter.


  33. Comment by CLBlood | 11.16.2009 | 4:43 pm

    I empathize. Yesterday it didn’t even get to 60 degrees here in St. Louis. I had to ride 9 miles before I could take off the second t-shirt.

  34. Comment by Chris B | 11.16.2009 | 4:56 pm

    I was cold in Cali yesterday too. At times I had my arm warmers pulled up and was wondering if I might need to get some leg warmers. There was a slightly chilly spot between the arm warmers and my vest too, but you have to solider on in the face of adversity sometimes.

  35. Comment by Sasha | 11.16.2009 | 5:51 pm

    Aw, c’mon Fatty! You could do the Iditarod because you’d be so bundled up in expedition weight gear that you’d never get cold. :) Actually, I think you should come up for the Iditarod start and ride in DeeDee Jonrowe’s basket. She is one of the most courageous women I know AND a breast cancer survivor. She didn’t let chemo, etc. stop her from doing the Iditarod. No way, no sir. Anyhow, they have honorary riders in the baskets at the ceremonial start in Anchorage and how cool would it be for you to ride in her basket? Now we just need to find someone to pay for the spot, for the plane ticket up here, and for hotel, etc. Hmmmmm

    Onto winter biking…we bought studded tires for my mtb so I could exercise our two labs and mix. I hate winter, which is why I have labs, I HAVE to go outside to exercise them otherwise they drive me nuts. So the studded tires are cool. Still not fond of biking outside when it’s a balmy 14 degrees or less above zero. Yuck. But I am all about layers so it usually works out okay usually. I am also not sure where the daylight went since we too are dark by 5:15, except we are also dark until around 9 or so in the morning too. Really hate this time of the year.

    Also, I received my Fat Cyclist jersey, arm warmers and stickers today!!!! YAY! And since it’s white, I plan on wearing it in Hawaii when we go on vacation in January. I’m SO excited!!

  36. Comment by Sasha | 11.16.2009 | 5:52 pm

    Oh, forgot to mention in my post that I’m from Anchorage, Alaska so is why I keep encouraging you to come up for a visit, though, really, summers are SO much better, what with all the daylight we have and the awesome trails we have and how awesome our scenery is up here. :)

  37. Comment by Saso | 11.16.2009 | 5:55 pm

    My sentiments exactly. That is why I started running from October. And I will happily do so till March when it is biking time again. Works for me every year.

  38. Comment by Sasha | 11.16.2009 | 6:01 pm

    Sorry for the THIRD post. I’m home sick today so the congestion must be adversely affecting my thought processes (or lack thereof). Here is a photo of my Fat Cyclist jersey, arm warmers, and stickers. :)pt4rw

  39. Comment by Joel P. | 11.16.2009 | 6:06 pm

    I am pretty dissapointed, I was hoping to read a post about how the Tallahassee mo’s powers had evolved to protect you from harm especially the outside elements. Guess it was not meant to be. Since I also dislike cold weather riding, my off season exercise consists of three nights a week of adult recreational “non-contact” ice hockey. It worked well last winter. Broke my right fibula, spent 7 weeks on crutches, missed 8 weeks of work and gained about 35 pounds. I highly recomend it.
    Joel P.

  40. Comment by 100poundsago | 11.16.2009 | 6:08 pm

    If we use ““ice” in “dicey” do we need to give you credit by actually vocalizing [square brackets] with your name in the brackets?

    The feeling you felt in your hands is called the “Screaming Pukies” by Ice Climbers. Just in case you care?

  41. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 11.16.2009 | 6:43 pm

    I would rather ride in pouring rain [we live in your old stomping grounds so that is common] than cold ANY day! Last year we thought we were prepared for a cold one and about 10 miles in found out it was only 27 degrees F. By the time we got to the bakery my hands were in major frozen stage and then they got worse as the “Screaming Pukies” set in. When Jill told us about her frost bite in the Iditarod I was almost able to relate.

  42. Comment by Walter | 11.16.2009 | 6:46 pm

    The real reason Dug & fam didn’t answer the door was b/c they saw a real bad looking (i.e. mean) dude with an incredibly dangerous mo standing outside in the dark banging on their door, repeatedly.

    mtb w

  43. Comment by John | 11.16.2009 | 7:24 pm

    One of your classic posts Fattie – I was snorting my MOnday night beer out my nose.

    I however just picked up a SWEET pair of Pearl Izumi Insulated cycling shoes and I’m looking forward to laughing as I head out in the next slush.

  44. Comment by Frank | 11.16.2009 | 7:28 pm

    You got to toughen up. I was out there yesterday in shorts and jersey in chilly 70° weather and only put on the FC wind breaker for the last 10 miles. I draw the line at 50° though… :)

  45. Comment by Steve | 11.16.2009 | 8:42 pm

    C’mon Fatty!

    You’re the last guy I would ever tag as a woos. If you are looking for an excuse to go multi-sport so you can expand your blogpire (blogging empire), skip the elaborate machinations and just go do it. You don’t need to convince us you tried to bike in the cold and failed. Those of us who ride all winter long in rain, sleet, snow, and ice will understand. We will just find another blog for the winter and come back to the fold like lemmings in the spring.

    But if you want to discover a whole new world of cycling, you can get your primer at http://www.icebike.org.

    But let me warn you ahead of time, it’s addicting!

    Deadlast Costanzo

  46. Comment by Kenz @ All The Weigh | 11.16.2009 | 9:24 pm

    I’m with you, in that I would prefer warmish weather for bike riding. I just started riding outside about an month ago, and I’m not at all ready for the snow we’ll get here in NYC.

    But while I was out riding today I needed a jacket, but nothing more..it was pretty outstanding so I’ll just appreciate this weather for the next few days…

    Make Dug pick up 24…for sure…it’s an amazing show…:)

  47. Comment by John | 11.17.2009 | 12:28 am

    Wish I knew what you’re on about. It’s 38C where I am (that’s 100F in American) and humid. I had a couple of people at work tell me that it was too hot to ride home, but I did anyway (and it wasn’t).

    My jersey arrived this week, the day before you announced that they were shipping! Thanks Twin Six!

  48. Comment by buckythedonkey | 11.17.2009 | 2:00 am

    You know the season is changing when you ask a “which mud-shedding tyre?” question on BikeRadar. Yes, the season of muck is upon us, although few of us shout “bring it on” or have much to put into those square brackets.

    However, rain, unlike snow (I’m guessing here, of course), can go away for a day or even a few hours to deliver my favourite conditions of the year. So bring on that first crisp Winter’s morning!

  49. Comment by Powerful Pete | 11.17.2009 | 3:28 am

    Riding in cold weather sucks. Almost as much as riding in rainy cold weather.

    Fortunately, we have relatively little of both here.


  50. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.17.2009 | 6:00 am

    82 and sunny……ho hum!

    For the next four months I get to gloat about riding any day, any time in our glorious So Fla weather…..bring it on!!!!


  51. Comment by Fuzzy | 11.17.2009 | 6:38 am


    What you need as well as the better gloves you have already identified, is a Surly Pugsley with fat tyres. Ride the snow, Dude!

    Luv’n Stuff.
    Fuzzy from the UK

  52. Comment by berry | 11.17.2009 | 6:40 am

    You can stop worrying about your face shattering if you accidentally run into a ball-peen hammer after a ride like this – the Mythbusters busted that by freezing a pig’s head in liquid Nitrogen and then smashing it with a giant flat hammer. No shattering. There was some Friday the 13th movie or something – horror is not my genre. Anyway – I hear there’s this thing called the intarwebs where you can go watch ‘episodes’ of that Mythbusters thing. I think.

  53. Comment by Brian N | 11.17.2009 | 7:33 am

    Snowshoeing in AF canyon is a lot of fun, and a lot of work. Most climbs start from Pine Hollow or Tibble Fork. Ridge Trail to the top of the loop and over to Horse Flat, then back down through Salamander is a good time.

  54. Comment by Dave | 11.17.2009 | 8:10 am

    A couple of years ago I went for a early November ride (I’m in Western Mass). Did not pay attention to the hour by hour forecast on Weather.com. When the sun dropped into the treeline around 3:30, the temperature went down about 10 degrees and I was 20 miles from home. And I had forgotten my toe covers. My next 1.5 hours was ‘Ride 3-4 miles, stop, take off shoes, rub toes, repeat.’ When I got home I had the same feeling in my feet that you had in your hands. I now wear toe covers starting in early October.

  55. Comment by Beavis and Butthead | 11.17.2009 | 9:38 am

    heh heh heh “Ititarod” heh heh heh

  56. Comment by Anonymous | 11.17.2009 | 10:32 am

    Nice blog and a well timed post. I’ve recently committed myself to ignoring the cold weather and have commuted ~15/20 over the last month including 2/2 this week (Denver). I’ve quickly learned that my challenge is not about staying warm, it’s about not accidentally cooking myself with too many layers…which has happened more times than I would care to admit.

  57. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.17.2009 | 10:40 am

    XC skiing can be fun.

    Yesterday, it was a pleasant 50-ish, dry and roughly 45mph winds, going the right way for the 21 mile commute to work.

    But the severe winter storm warnings for the afternoon (there were already 89 mph gusts and 10″ of standing water some places on the Oregon coast, 80 miles to thge west) made me chicken out on the cycle wind surfing thing.

    It turned out that it was still warm dry and 30-40 mph headwinds for the trip home. That would have wrmed me up in the dark.

    But I chickened out, and the severe winter storm hit, and now it is sub-40 degrees with slashing rain.

    I screwed up. It is going to be cold and rainy forever now.

  58. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 11.17.2009 | 12:18 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!

  59. Comment by TheChief | 11.17.2009 | 12:25 pm

    All this sking talk probably means Fatty will start getting packages in the mail chocked full of sking equipment and apparel for free. In reality, it was probably an planned understated plea for free gear. On the good side he will be able to entice people to donate to Livestrong all year now.

  60. Comment by Fin | 11.17.2009 | 2:26 pm

    Oooh, I have found an island of cycling wit on the internet. Very funny stuff Fatty.

    Yeah, cycling can suck in winter when you are not properly dressed. But here’s three reasons why I can play my violin louder than you:

    1) We are cycling in below zero temperatures in the Baltics with 70kgs of luggage each (including dogs). http://cyclinggypsies.wordpress.com
    2) We are wild camping 9 times out of ten. No hot showers to unthaw! Maybe this is a good thing…
    3) Have you ever packed up a tent where the tent poles are frozen together? I don’t recommend it.

    Now it’s time to craft a mo’ out of my dodgy travel beard…

  61. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 11.17.2009 | 6:30 pm

    Winter? Never heard of it. 85 here in So Cal. Gloat, gloat…

  62. Comment by Tim Fisher | 11.17.2009 | 10:54 pm

    Elden – Give in to your inner skier…going up is just like a good hill climb on the mtb (and usually warm to hot) and going down in fresh pow is, well better than anything I’ve experienced on a mtb. As an Alpine local, I’d be happy to introduce you to our awesome backcountry.

  63. Comment by Sweet Wiliam | 11.18.2009 | 12:49 am

    Get some decent gloves. (Etc) If it’s not too cold to ski, it’s not to cold to ride.

  64. Comment by Johnp | 11.18.2009 | 4:18 am

    Pack up the kids and move to Florida mid to low 70’s during the day low60’s at night and best of all NO F*&%ing snow or ice.

  65. Comment by Derek White | 11.18.2009 | 10:15 am



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